New SHINGRIX Vaccine Induces Stronger Immune Protection Against Shingles in Elderly

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Herpes Zoster or Shingles of chest Wikipedia

Herpes Zoster or Shingles of chest
Wikipedia

Anthony. L. Cunningham, MD
The Westmead Institute for Medical Research
Westmead, NSW
University of Sydney, Sydney,  

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: This study examines the reasons why the HZ subunit vaccine candidate (HZ/su vaccine) consisting of a single viral protein, varicella-zoster glycoprotein E, and and adjuvant (immunostimulant) combination AS01B is so effective as a vaccine to prevent shingles (>90%), especially in those over the age of 70 years and 80 years, as published in recent trials i.e. it combats the declining immunity in the aging which usually restricts vaccine efficacy to under 60% in these age groups.  Continue reading

Shingles Can Occur At Chickenpox Vaccination Site in Healthy Children

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Depicted here, is a close-up of a maculopapular rash that was diagnosed as a crop of chickenpox lesions.

Depicted here, is a close-up of a maculopapular rash that was diagnosed as a crop of chickenpox lesions.
“Dew-drop on a rose petal pattern” CDC image

Hannah Song, BA
Medical studen
Harvard Medical School and
Jennifer T. Huang, MD
Division of Immunology, Dermatology Program
Boston Children’s Hospital
Boston, MA

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Infection with the varicella-zoster virus leads to chickenpox, or primary varicella. The virus then lies dormant and can later reactivate as shingles, or herpes zoster.  Varicella-zoster vaccine is made of an attenuated live virus that prevents most people from getting chicken pox, but rarely can reactivate and cause shingles.

There were several pediatric patients who presented to our clinics with shingles/herpes zoster that was localized to one extremity. My hunch was that the extremity where the patients had shingles could be the same limb where they had received vaccination. We called the patient’s pediatricians because pediatricians typically document the extremity where the vaccination is given, and confirmed the theory that shingles in vaccinated children may be more likely to occur at the site of vaccination. Importantly, vaccination may modify the classic appearance of shingles, and you might see pink and red papules and pseudovesicles, rather than classic grouped fluid-filled vesicles on a red base.  Continue reading

NYU Study To Evaluate Long-Term Treatment of Painful Shingles of the Eye

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Elisabeth J. Cohen, MD
NYU Langone Medical Center

MedicalResearch.com Editor’s note: Elisabeth J. Cohen, MD, of NYU Langone Medical Center, will head a five year study to evaluate new treatment protocols for herpes zoster ophthalmicus (HZO).
Herpes zoster ophthalmicus is a form of shingles that can cause prolonged pain and permanently damage the eye. Dr Cohen and NYU have received a grant from the National Institutes of Health to investigate the longer-term use of suppressive antiviral medication to reduce complications of HZO,

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Can you tell us a little about herpes zoster/shingles?

Response: The rationale for the study is two-fold:

First: the accumulating evidence that zoster is followed by chronic active infection caused by the varicella zoster virus (VZV) that contributes to complications including vision threatening eye disease and life threatening stroke.

Second: the proven efficacy of suppressive antiviral treatment in reducing recurrent herpes simplex virus eye disease, caused by a different herpes virus, but with similar disease manifestations.

Zoster/shingles is caused by localized, unilateral reactivation of varicella zoster virus (VZV) in people who have had varicella/chicken pox resulting in a painful blistering rash that can be followed by chronic pain/postherpetic neuralgia. There are over one million new cases of zoster per year, and the incidence has increased over the past 6 decades for unknown reasons. Although the rate of zoster increases with age, the largest number of cases occur in people in their fifties.

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Shingles Vaccine Remains Effective, Even With Chemotherapy

Sara Tartof, PhD, MPH Post-doctoral research fellow Kaiser Permanente Southern California Department of Research & Evaluation.MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Sara Tartof, PhD, MPH
Post-doctoral research fellow
Kaiser Permanente Southern California Department of Research & Evaluation.


Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Tartof: Our study found that the herpes zoster vaccine continues to be effective in protecting older adults against shingles, even after they undergo chemotherapy. In particular, we found that those patients who were previously vaccinated with the vaccine were 42 percent less likely to develop shingles following chemotherapy treatment. We also found that none of our vaccinated patients underwent hospitalization for shingles, while six unvaccinated patients were hospitalized with the disease.
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